PROVIDENCE, R.I.--This was supposed to be the Battle for the Ivy League Championship.
But it turned into the Battle of Little Big Horn.
And by the end of the evening, there was little doubt over which team was playing the role of General Custer.
Because like a band of wild Indians, the Harvard women's swimming team stormed into the Smith Swimming Center and routed Brown, 87-53, in front of 200 spectators.
With the victory, the Crimson (3-0 overall, 2-0 Ivy League) remains atop the standings in the Ivies and appears set to capture its second straight league crown. The Bruins fell to 1-1 in the Ivy League and again appear to be headed for a second place finish.
Crimson Coach Maura Costin Scalise was happy about the meet's result, but acknowledged that her squad still has a great deal of work to do this season.
"I'm very pleased that we won tonight," Costin Scalise said. "We just got in the water and everybody did their job. Still, we were a little flat, so I'm looking forward to getting this team in shape. Then we'll start to really swim well."
While there were some Harvard swimmers who came up with out-standing performances, last night's win was truly a team effort that showed the tremendous depth of the Crimson squad. Harvard took 12 of the 16 events in the meet, and in three races claimed both first and second places.
The contest's top swim came from sophomore Linda Suhs in the 50-yd. freestyle, when she shattered the Harvard team record with her winning time of 24.28 seconds, besting the old mark of 24.51. Suhs also captured a second-place finish in the 100 freestyle and was a part of both of Harvard's winning relay teams.
Sophomore Janice Sweetser also proved to be a Crimson workhorse, winning two individual races, one relay and finishing fourth in yet another swim. Sweetser finished ahead of the field in both the 200 and 500 freestyles and was the final Crimson swimmer in the 400 freestyle relay.
In both the 500 freestyle and in the relay, Sweetser was behind at first, but each time pulled ahead of the Brown swimmer in the final yards to capture the victory.
Freshman Sheila Findley had a super meet as well, taking two events and finishing third in one other. Findley won the 100-yd. backstroke with a time of 1:00.20, swam the backstroke leg of Harvard's victorious 400 medley relay team, and took third in the 200-yd. backstroke.
Sophomore Karen Schneider posted a key victory in the 200 butterfly with a 2:08.36 time. Schneider also swam to a third-place finish in the 100 butterfly.
Freshman Jenny Meyer emerged as a Crimson force during the meet, winning the 400 individual medley in a time of 4:34.59. In addition, Meyer finished second in the 200 backstroke, touching the wall just after teammate and fellow freshman Kaari Reierson, who took the race with a 2:07.57 time.
Mary Quinn was yet another freshman sensation last night, as she won one individual race and two relays. Quinn's time of 58.19 seconds was good enough to win the 100-yd. butterfly, and she teamed up with Suhs, Sweetser and Mia Costello to take the 400 freestyle relay.
Quinn also swam the butterfly leg in the 400 medley relay, joining forces with Findley, Costello and Suhs to snag the top position.
The Crimson took the meet according to plan, starting off strong and never letting up. Harvard won four of the first six events, moving out to an 18-point lead and neutralizing a highly partial Brown crowd.
The Eastern Championships will be held here at Smith Swimming Center on February 26-28.
And judging by the way it destroyed the home folk last night, the Crimson can't wait to come back.